Here’s How Yoga Brings Me Moments Of Peace

Disclaimer: I’m still not 100% at peace, but I’m figuring it out one day at a time. And that’s okay.

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Over the last two weeks, I’ve learned that yoga is so much more than just asana (physical postures). Instead of only realigning the body, it is just as important to also focus on realigning the mind and soul so as to create more balance in life.

Most days, my mind is constantly busy and still not as calm as I’d like it to be. However, I’ve decided to consciously commit to practicing some of Patanjali’s teachings in my day-to-day life.

I’ll be honest and tell you that it hasn’t always been easy because it’s not how I’m used to living my life.

Speaking of honesty, this brings me to the first principle I’ve been keeping in mind.

 

1. Be truthful and genuine

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Satya, or truthfulness, is one of the yamas (guidelines for how to behave in relation to the world around us) in yoga.

By being truthful in our actions and thoughts, we can then show up authentically and be true to ourselves instead of trying to fit ourselves into what society or others tell us is best.

As I used to be a people pleaser, I had the tendency to focus on others instead of myself and what I really feel.

Now that I’m aware, I make it a point to catch myself and show up truthfully – even if it means that I might not be able to please everyone all the time. This has helped me to prevent self-abandonment and set better boundaries. Thanks to this, I can now make decisions more aligned with what I genuinely want.

 

2. Practice gratitude

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Santosha, or contentment, is one of the niyamas (guidelines to conduct ourselves) in yoga.

As we live in a material world, it can be easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves and our lives with others. As a result, we believe that the grass is greener on the other side and lose sight of what we have.

Even though it might not feel like it sometimes, there’s always something to be grateful for.

Whether it’s appreciating the people in my life or simply being thankful for the lessons I learn, I make it a point to practice gratitude daily. This has helped me to build a deeper appreciation for the simple things and embrace where I am in every moment.

 

3. Act from a place of love

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Ahimsa, or non-violence in our thoughts, actions and consequences of our actions, is another yama.

In turbulent times, I tend to easily succumb to negative thoughts and would sometimes even beat myself up when I don’t get the results or outcome I want. Unfortunately, this has led to over two decades of being unkind to myself.

It was only last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, when I noticed that I struggled to show up for myself because I didn’t have a solid relationship with myself.

After being forced to go inward and start healing, I started working on self-compassion and acceptance. Now that self-love is a priority, my cup isn’t empty anymore so I no longer have to rely on external things to keep it full. This helps me to be better at showing up for not just myself, but also the people around me.

I’m still learning to be kind to myself when I notice myself slip into old patterns and I understand that it is a daily effort to lead with love. So I’m doing my best to take it a day at a time and more importantly, change the way I talk to myself.

 

And so, the journey towards peace continues

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Now that I’ve gained a deeper understanding about the different yoga philosophies, I’m aware that there’s still a lot more to explore and discover.

As I embark on the next chapter of my healing, I hope to be able to be more present and also learn to let go of what no longer serves me.